SEATTLE - A late comeback from Seattle University women’s soccer fell just short as No. 3 USC escaped with a late goal in overtime to drop the Redhawks, 3-2. Olivia Ovenell and Leahi Manthei both got on the scoresheet, as Ovenell notched her first collegiate goal and Manthei tied the match late in regulation.
The Redhawks sustained early pressure from the Trojans, lying back and absorbing long balls over the top with the combined efforts of Ovenell, Kelsey Vogel, and Holly Rothering. After going down 1-0 in the 22nd minute, Seattle U found their offensive groove and strung passes together to create quality chances.
Freshman goalkeeper Madison Waguespack kept things tight in the early goings, commanding her box and winning 50/50 challenges against the speed of the USC attack.
“Overall, I was impressed with the way we played today as a team,” said coach Julie Woodward. “They came out against the number three team in the country and showed that they can play with them."
After winning a free kick 25 yards out on the right side, Rachel Bowler whipped in a dangerous ball to the crowded USC box, connecting with the head of Ovenell to level the score in the 31st minute.
“I thought Olivia really stepped up today and provided great leadership and scored a great goal and gives us a bright spot to look ahead and also something to continue to improve.”
The match opened up after the equalizer for the Redhawks with possession being split between the two sides as well as increased physical play in the midfield.
USC would later take a 2-1 lead just before the halftime whistle.
Throughout the second half, the match was won and lost in the midfield. Crunching tackles from Rothering and Ovenell gave the SU a needed boost after continuing to absorb Trojan crosses from speedy wing play. The midfield duo spread the ball around the park to build attacking pressure in favor of the Redhawks.
The pressure paid off at the dying moments of the match for Seattle U. Manthei received a pass from the wing 12 yards out from goal, took a clean turn around her defender and rocketed a right-footed laser to the top right corner to level the match at two a piece in the 86th minute, lighting up the 600 spectators on hand at Championship Field. Tonight’s goal was Manthei’s first of the 2019 season, and proved to be crucial as the Redhawks would take USC to overtime after regulation ended at 2-2.
USC found the winning goal in the 93rd minute after a scrum in the middle of the box popped the ball out to an open Trojan who slotted the ball into the back of the net from seven yards out, ending the match 3-2.
A notable member of the visiting roster was senior midfielder Jalen Woodward, daughter of SU coach Julie Woodward.
Waguespack recorded eight saves on the night, a career high.
Seattle U looks to bounce back this Sunday September 15 at Portland with kick-off set at 1:00 pm.